I went shopping for a jacket and a maybe something else to make me look classier if I found it yesterday (Hurrah for half-days!). I went to Myong-dong, it’s about 70 minutes from Suwon Station and it’s a huge shopping hub in Seoul. You can pick up all sorts of clothes there, anything from designer store to retail outlets to small negotiable-price retailers to counterfeit street vendors. You’ll find it all!
Because I’m bigger than most Koreans, it’s a huge hassle for me to find clothes that fit. After almost two hours of looking for clothes at small retailers and some outlets, we (my Korean friend and I) gave up. I was getting tired of constant disappointment and she was getting tired of nothing fitting me. We decided to go get me a haircut (it had been 4 months). I went to a place called Juno Hair in Myong-dong on impulse. When we walked in, we were greeted by the receptionist (who at first asked if I was a stylist) who assigned my stylist to me. We sat down in the waiting area and a few minutes later, the receptionist came over to offer us our choice of complementary drinks. Soon after this, my stylist came over, introduced himself and gave me his business card. His assistant then brought me to the back to wash my hair and the whole hair cutting thing started (this part is the same as in Canada). After being done with me, I went to pay what I figured would have been a high price for the awesome service I got. Turns out it was only 21 000won (under 20 Canadian dollars)! The stylist and his assistant then escorted my friend and I down the elevator and bid us farewell. It was pretty awesome. I’ll admit that I’ve never been to a hair salon in Canada, so it’s possible this is common back home, but I was blown away by the service. Park Don Sae (guy’s name) has potential repeat customer (if I’m ever back in the area and need a haircut)
Anyway, after this, we went to a giant department store to try our luck (it was our last option). I actually found a few jackets that fit, but apparently they weren’t a very good style for the price. In a stroke of luck, I found a jacket that fit me well and my friend liked. The frustration was all going to be worth it, I thought! Turns out the price was a bit on the expensive side; 360 000won. Some might find this reasonable for a nice jacket, but on a salary of 1 800 000won per month, it’s a bit expensive. Plus winter here isn’t as long as in Canada, so it’ll have a much shorter life. Having gone so far to find the jacket, we decided to flip a coin to see if I would buy it. The salesman even did the flip. I didn’t end up buying it.
Our last shot was at a place called Zora. It’s basically a bunch of imported European dress clothes. I found another jacket there that fit (not as well as the other one, but still really well) and apparently it’s nice too. I ended up buying it. It cost me 225 000won, but the tag also has the European price under a sticker so I discovered that it retails for 79.90euros (So there’s a difference of 68 Canadian dollars based on what continent you buy it). Anyway, I’m happy with my purchase. It’s nice and warm and it goes well with my work clothes, it also works with jeans.
KOREAN SHOPPING TIP: I found that WHO.A.U., Dress to Kill and Zora have jackets that fit me (I think Bang Bang might also have some stuff, but I only tried their pants). Their styles vary, so you’ll need to look around. But if you’re tall, broader and have larger arms than a Korean, check those places out. You can find WHO.A.U. and Dress to Kill at Suwon Station’s AK shopping mall.